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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

When the heart hurts from a distance

Jess Shut Up

 


It is a big world. Most people, when asked about things they want to accomplish in life, answer at least part of the question with, “See the world” or “Travel.” A lot of us get to do that. Others are stuck in the land where they grew up. It is amazing to hear a kid say “I have never been to Seattle” or “I have never been out of Washington state.” But those types are here. Most, through no fault of their own, just never got the opportunity.

But it is a big world. I have been a few places. Not, by far, have I been to all or even a fraction of where I would like to see. I have been to Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, California, Nevada, Colorado (Denver airport), Indianapolis and Canada. But that is the limit of my travels, so far. With many destinations on a long list of want-to-sees. The biggies include Africa, Ireland, Australia, and England, France and Rome. But there are still a lot of U.S.-grown places I would love to see.

I must see Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City some day, and hopefully watch a game there. The Smithsonian Museum is a “gotta see” as well. But recently my heart has been longing to go to New York. No, not to see Times Square or Madison Square Garden. Not even to see a play on Broadway or to the Statue of Liberty. Nope. The reason I want to go at this very moment is to see my friend. He is lying in a hospital bed. He is not in good shape. I pray he will get better and make a full and miraculous recovery, but I have a very selfish reason why I want to be there right now. But wait just a second.

Yes, we all miss the Fusion Café. But what I miss the most is the atmosphere and that environment cultivated by the people that graced us with their daily blessings that came in the form of a coffee, smoked meat and creations that most of us had never put to our lips before. But even then it was not about the food. It was about the hands that made it. Charity and her tongue-in-cheek humor, which, if she wandered out of the kitchen when she had a moment, she would share with you along with a gem from above. Kirk, with his no-nonsense approach to meat and life, told it how it was, straight from his heart. Wiyaka, with her free-spirit approach to serving us no matter her own situation, made us feel like we were her only customers. Then there was Jay. He wasn’t always there. Sometimes he had his own dreams to chase, and that is how he ended up in New York; he was fulfilling a dream.

I hope that by the time you read this Jay has opened his eyes and is driving nurses crazy. But let’s get back to the reason I want to be in New York. I just want to love on Jay. Whether he knows I’m there or not. I want to tell him he was a great friend, even when I was not. I want to thank him for being a part of my life, and tell him I wish I was a bigger part of his. I just want to hug him and tell him these things and many more. The phrase “sometimes you don’t know what you have ’til it is gone” resonates with me today. I want to tell him he was a great chef. I will get to say this someday, of that I am sure.

So why am I writing this? If you have someone you care about deeply who has wandered far away, pick up the phone and call them. Text them. Email them. Or whatever your communication of choice is. Tell them you love them, mend a relationship, or just chat a bit and catch up. Pain of the heart can be a bitter pill and spread like wildfire. Do not let one more second pass. I’m Jess saying.

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